Underhood: Timing The BMW N53 And N54
Courtesy of Engine Builder
If there’s one thing we know about the diesel crowd, it’s that you folks like to have fun! And what’s more fun that huge turbos and nitrous, am I right? Of course I’m right. But, it’s not fun blowing up your engine because you didn’t utilize the right combination. To get some extra insight into the different levels of turbos and nitrous systems today’s diesel performance guys are running, we spoke with Lavon Miller of Firepunk Diesel.
“Turbo setups really come down to personal preference,” Miller says. “Here at the shop, we have our favorite setups and stuff that we put together that we feel drive nice. Those are ones we’ll sell to guys. I’ve also put setups together that customers have asked for and they just don’t drive all that nice. Most of our recommendations come from personal experience and stuff that we’ve found over the years. However, you can do it 15 different ways.”
There’s a lot to take into consideration when it comes to putting boost to your engine such as driving style, the application of your truck, your elevation, and how much power you ultimately want.
One of the easiest upgrades to turbocharging is the stock appearing market. That is where you can take the stock turbo off and replace it with another turbo that fits in the exact same location – same down pipe, same oil feed, same oil drain, same intercooler pipe – it just has upgraded turbine wheels and compressor wheels in the stock turbo housing.
“That’s a big market because it’s something guys can do at home in their garage,” Miller says. “It’s an easy bolt-on configuration. There’s no welding required and there’s pretty good power gains to be had out of those little stock-appearing turbos. They still tow good. They still spool decently fast. We’ve had guys make as much as 900 horsepower with those when you put big fuel systems on.”
The majority of guys have a stock fuel system and want a little bit of a turbo upgrade, so popular options are something like Fleece Performance’s Cheetah turbo, or stock appearing turbos from Tater Built Turbos, Stainless Diesel, or Calibrated Power and its Stealth 64mm.